Care workers and carers urged to get their free flu jab

Care workers and carers are being urged to get their free flu vaccine from community pharmacies or their GP.

Vaccinating carers and care workers protects the vulnerable people they are caring for, by reducing the risk of them bringing the virus into care homes, and spreading it amongst the residents or service users. Vaccinated staff are also less likely to need to take time off from work due to having the flu, which will help to ease staffing and financial pressures over the winter.

Councillor Tom McGee, Stockport Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, said:

“I would strongly encourage care workers and carers to get their free flu jab as soon as possible in order to protect themselves and the people they are caring for.”

Dr. David Baxter, Consultant in Public Health at Stockport Council said:

“The flu vaccine is a very effective way to avoid flu outbreaks and reduce hospital admissions. The elderly and those who are a suffering from long term illnesses are particularly at risk of suffering very serious illnesses if they catch the flu. Flu in a care home can spread rapidly through unvaccinated staff and residents, leading to a potential outbreak of flu . This could prove very costly to the health and social care system due to very sick residents needing to be admitted to hospital."

Staff that are eligible for a free flu jab are health and social care workers employed by a registered residential care/nursing home, hospices or registered domiciliary care provider, and those registered as a carer with their GP. Staff employed by the NHS or Local Authority should receive their flu jab through their employer.

It’s recommended that staff contact their community pharmacy or GP practice to check they are providing the service, before attending.

Make sure to take appropriate ID which shows your name and your employer such as an ID badge, letter from the employer or a recent pay slip.

For further information about the flu vaccine and other groups eligible for a free vaccine. visit www.stockport.gov.uk/fluvaccines